8 Jun 2010

55 bodies found in abandoned Mexican mine

4:17 pm on 8 June 2010

Mexican police say 55 bodies have been recovered from an abandoned mine that appears to have been used as a mass grave by drug gangs.

Officials say earlier reports that 77 bodies had been recovered were mistaken.

Human remains were first discovered in the silver mine at Taxco in Guerrero state a week ago.

The bodies appeared to have been thrown down a 200-metre ventilation shaft over a period of time. Of the six so far identified, one was that of the director of a local prison.

The BBC reports that Guerrero state is a focal point for the drug-related violence that has claimed more than 22,000 lives in Mexico since 2006.

Police are now checking other mineshafts in the area to see if bodies have also been dumped there. Local morgues have been overwhelmed by the number of bodies.